Saturday, January 26, 2013

Remembering Vienne

I just wanted to share some ways in which we keep Vienne alive and present in our everyday lives.

(In November, Mark and I went and got these tattoos.  We love them.  Mark's is obviously Vienne's signature along with her first drawing of a star.  This signature is a copy of the first one she wrote on her own, without tracing.  The star is something I've mentioned in a previous post - something she randomly drew when she was 14 mo. old...a total fluke and coincidence that her scribble looked like a star.  I think I am going to get the star tattooed on my wrist, next (tattoos are addicting!  This is my 3rd).  I want something from her own hand.)

(My tattoo is a bit more of a story.  And, it represents a bit of my alternative ways.  As I've made clear before, I am a natural mama, a home birther, an avid breastfeeder, and lover of all things wholistic and pure.  So, with that disclaimer in mind, this is inspired from Vienne's 'Tree of Life'.  What is a tree of life, you ask?  It is the veins of the umbilical cord that sprawl across the placenta to form what is called your "tree of life" - the tree of veins that supplied all the nourishment that sustains a baby in the womb.  This tree formed our connection from her very start.  Everybody's "tree of life" is unique to themselves, like finger prints.  I distinctly recall that when Vienne was born, my midwives marveled over her specific "tree" for it was, as they claimed, so unusual and unique.  (But, of course).  I guess most "trees of life" look like actual trees, but Vienne's looked like this - almost like a windswept coastal tree.  I knew, back then, that I would eventually design a tattoo inspired by her tree.  So, of course, we took a photo of it.  Once she passed away, I KNEW I had to get it as soon as possible.  I designed this, copying her actual tree and make it to look like a hydrangea bush, as well.  If you haven't read earlier posts, hydrangeas were Vienne's flower -flowers that bloom in her favorite colors of blue and green.  Isn't the detail work beautiful?  I just love it.  It is not as large as it looks in the photo.)

(I wear these special charms on my neck every single day.  My only request for Christmas was this green opal locket.  The silver charms have the girls' initials, which I received on Mother's Day.  And, I just received the dino charm on another necklace for Christmas, and decided it must join my daily wear.  It's a bit busy, but I love it all and it means soooo much.)

(I have decided that I will always paint my toes in Vienne's favorite colors.  I think I own every possible shade of blue and green nail polish out there, now.)

(obviously, blue and green have become our family's favorite colors.  We gravitate towards the colors whenever shopping for clothes.)

(the photo collage wall I created in the entry hallway.  We walk by it several times each day.  We take Ivy along this wall and point out the pictures and she always smiles and points.)

(Large printed canvases upstairs in the landing)

(T-Rex, Tornado, and Alice - her favorite friends she played with each day - sit on the sills in the landing)

(Vienne's framed artwork in the guest room/office.  I rotate the paintings with the seasons.  From left to right:  1) her first painting of a rainbow.  2)  a Christmas tree made with layered green hand prints.  3)  The Hungry Caterpillar from her handprints, as well.  Yes, I am a pinterest-inspired mama, sometimes.)

(the new bathroom for Ivy - disregard Mark's brewing stuff under the window, there.  Of course, I had to throw out all the decor from the bathroom that Vienne died in.  It was the girls' bathroom.  When we moved into this new house, I needed something new.  Someone anonymously left this beautiful water color painting of a blue and green hydrangea at Vienne's memorial service.  I decided that Ivy's new bathroom should be decorated around this painting - a replacement of Vienne's old bathroom, but still including her in the new.  The new bath is blue and green and we love it.  It's a ridiculously huge spare bathroom!)

(upstairs hallway...dried hydrangeas kept from her memorial service and a shadow box of photos, outside of Ivy's room.)

(Dinos have become the new gift theme to give us and we love it.  We received this salt and paper shaker set for Christmas and this creamer as a house warming gift.  We also have a dino towel that hangs on our oven handle - fun little treasures hidden around our home to remind us of Vienne and what she loved.)

(We decided to start a dino and dragon mug collection.)

We also have a blue hydrangea planted in a pot out back.  An ornament that she made in Sunday school, that was recently found under the seat in the car, now hangs from my rear view mirror.  I sleep with her pillow case under my pillow case - the last one she slept on, and I cannot wash it.   We are also working on commissioning a painting of her in Jesus' arms, similar to the one I posted a while back.

And those are just the things from the top of my head.  

This helps, as much as it can, to keep my Baby near to my heart and mind.  I want to wear her on my sleeve, I want to share her with the world, I want to think of her always, I want her current and with me forever.  


  1. This reminds me of all the things I do :) like you I have 2 tattoos for my daughter, a special necklace with her ashes inside, pictures and her drawings (scribbles) around the house, I gravitate towards "her colors" and collect anything from the cartoon Madeline, as that is my daughters name. I think it is great that you're having that painting made! Someone had found one like it of jesus and a little girl that looks just like mine when my daughter died, its very special. I know you don't know me but I've enjoyed reading about your little one and think of you and her often. God bless you and your special family :) -jaimee

    1. Jaimee ~ I wish I knew more about your precious Madeline and your story. Thank you for leaving your comments. They mean so much.

      I love the idea of the necklace that holds her ashes. I think that will be the next purchase. What a great gift.

  2. Came across your blog because I am friends/a fan of Kinsey's on facebook. I was so upset to hear of the passing of your daughter when Kinsey posted the link to the memorial slideshow she made. This little girl left so many people with a hole in their hearts from her kind and sweet nature.
    From reading your blog as a person about to be a mom (due tomorrow :)) I have learned to cherish the moments, whether good or bad, relish in my sons birth (when he decides to show) and you have also taught me to slow down. Life doesn't need to fly by, we need to remember it. Up until I started reading your blog I have hated being pregnant, some people were just meant to carry children, I am not one of those. While I had disliked pregnancy, you taught me to feel my sons movements and know who he is from the inside. You've created more of a connection with him and I haven't even met him yet! Thank you for your honesty and bluntness. I've cried with you and for you. I don't need to tell you what Jesus says about hurting and grieving, you know it I'm sure and have heard it. But know I am praying for you as well.
    All the dino additions to the house are wonderful, as is your tattoos and all the fun colors you've added to your home.

    1. Ana~ Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on here.

      I am so honored to be one who has inspired more of an intimate connection between your and your son. I hope he has been born by now! I hope the moment you see him, that undying love that you never knew was possible will overwhelm you and assure you that you were meant for motherhood.

      Much love to you.

  3. Jenny,
    I love your tattoos, the collage, the dinosaurs and all the things that remind you of your sweet daughter. You just can't get enough of her. I have gone crazy printing every picture of my son Ollie. I am the same, I want him on my heart, my thoughts, my walls, my everywhere.
    Hope your feeling comfort and strength and all those things you need at this sad time.
    Much love and hugs
    Tiffany Hebb

    1. Thank you, Tiffany.

      I am very comforted by the support I have in family and dear friends and those of you in my online community.


  4. I love every bit of Vienne throughout your home, honey - right down to the familiarity of her sister’s smiles and giggles, the clothes of Vienne’s she is now wearing. I am so thankful you did not hide everything away for the fear of rememberance as many people do when their loved one passes. I realize everyone copes and grieves differently, but that would be even more painful for me, for us. I love to get “Vienne-soaked” in your home, to look at pictures and videos, by buying and wearing green and blue and being drawn to all-things-dinosaur! The string of blue and green lights on the split rail fence at the edge of our yard, glows each evening for Vienne. Our hydrangea garden of four bushes (one for each year of her beautiful life) will be officially set in rememberance of her on May 1st, her birthday. Though often bitter-sweet, these things are all like a soothing balm to my heart. All the things you and Mark do to keep Vienne present are health, my love. It is courageous, creative and beautiful. You are an amazing and inspiring woman, mama, and daughter - and I am blessed you are my friend.

  5. You are heart hurts so bad for you, but I need you to know, I have LOVED getting to know Vienne. She is so beautiful and it is not fair that such a gentle beautiful soul was taken off this earth :( I heard of your blog from Lacey, I went to high school with her, and check your blog everyday. I appreciate your raw emotion and sharing your beautiful baby girls! I know I don't know you, but Jenny, I think of you often, everyday! Vienne is so precious and was so blessed to have spent her four prescious years of life with such a loving great family. She is amazing and I miss her! Really, I miss her, and love every new blog you post because it's a chance to learn more about a sweet girl I never even got to know!! *tears*

    1. Wow, this meant so much to me to read. I am always soooooo touched when I how much people get to know Vienne through this blog and how easily they fall in love with her. That is all I have wanted. For her to be known and always remembered.

      Thank you for thinking of me often and sharing this with me.


  6. Oh this post makes my heart heavy and hurt so deeply for you. I love that you have found ways to keep her spirit with you every day. Every time I see something "dino" I think of Vienne. You are creative and amazing. What beautiful ways you have found to keep Vienne in your new home. Love you friends.

    1. I love you my sweet friend. xoxoxoxo always forever

  7. Jenny, I know you are steeped in sorrow and pain, but the words and images you have created to remember Vienne are truly amazing and powerful. I have followed your blog weekly just to catch a glimpse of Vienne and try to absorb what you are feeling. You are in my thoughts daily and I keep praying that you will remember all the details of Vienne that you possibly can. Love you! ~Shelley

  8. The love you and your husband have for your daughters is so deeply moving. How is Ivy? I hope the issues with her health have taken a turn for the better. Sweet, beautiful girl. Praying for all of you, still. You are a great mother.

  9. Your ink is creative and beautiful - what a lovely tribute to Vienne. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Your tattoos are great. I really wish I were brave enough to get a tattoo that represents Noah. I also like your collage on the wall. I'm working on one, too. Have the pictures printed but haven't been able to frame them without crying. The dinosaur theme is cool and unique. You have lots of ways to remind you of her.